Cover image for The secret of Nightingale Wood / Lucy Strange.
Title:
The secret of Nightingale Wood / Lucy Strange.
ISBN:
9781338312850
Publication Information:
New York : Chicken House, Scholastic Inc., 2019.

©2017
Physical Description:
288 pages ; 20 cm
Abstract:
"1919. Mama is ill. Father has taken a job abroad. Nanny Jane is too busy to pay any attention to Henrietta and the things she sees - or thinks she sees - in the shadows of their new home, Hope House. All alone, with only stories for company, Henry discovers that Hope House is full of strange secrets: a forgotten attic, ghostly figures, mysterious firelight that flickers in the trees beyond the garden. One night she ventures into the darkness of Nightingale Wood. What she finds there will change her whole world ..."--Page [4] of cover.
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Summary

Summary

A Kirkus Best Middle Grade Book of 2017
An Amazon Best Book of 2017
A 2018 Bank Street College Best Book of the Year
A Telegraph Top 50 Book of the Year

Everyone is too busy to pay attention to Henrietta and the things she sees -- or thinks she sees -- in the shadows of their new home, Hope House. Mama is ill. Father has taken a job abroad. Nanny Jane is busy taking care of her younger sister.

All alone, with only stories for company, Henry discovers that Hope House is full of strange secrets: a forgotten attic, ghostly figures, mysterious firelight that flickers in the trees beyond the garden.

One night she ventures into the darkness of Nightingale Wood. What she finds there will change her whole world...


Author Notes

Lucy Strange worked as an actor, singer, and storyteller before becoming a secondary school English teacher. She lives in Kent, England. The Secret of Nightingale Wood is her first novel.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Set a year after the end of WWI, this compelling debut places imaginative 12-year-old narrator Henrietta "Hen" Abbott in an impossible situation. After the death of Hen's brother, her father moves the family from London to the countryside, only to depart to the continent for work, leaving Hen's mother struggling with mental illness and cared for by a sinister doctor. "Suddenly I felt dangerously alone," Hen recounts. "Mama was ill and drugged. Father was not here. Doctor Hardy thought I was going mad, and Nanny Jane had become his spy." She finds solace in the woods and meets a supposed witch (whom she dubs Moth) living in a caravan. The mystery surrounding this woman becomes a central thread, and her character extends needed kindness to Hen, supporting her efforts to save her family. Strange effectively weaves in fairy tales, poetry, and themes common to classic children's literature, reflecting Hen's love of books. A brave heroine propels this strong and richly layered novel, a memorable portrait of grief, resilience, and rebirth. Ages 8-12. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

In 1919, twelve-year-old Hen's family moves to an English country house to recover from the recent death of Hen's brother. Then Hen meets a thin, ragged woman living in nearby Nightingale Wood. Might she be someone who understands Mama's incapacitating grief? Suspense and uncertainty build inexorably in this satisfying story; Hen's avid reading of fairy tales, Keats, and Victorian children's books enhances the narrative's rich literary texture. (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.